Share This Episode
Viewpoint on Mormonism Bill McKeever  Logo

The Next Mormons — Part 6

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
October 7, 2019 3:38 am

The Next Mormons — Part 6

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 662 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

One member is examining the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective view .1 limited sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism. What are some of the reasons Latter Day Saints stay within the Mormon fold welcome to this additional viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM last week we began looking at a book that was published in the spring of 2019. It's titled the next Mormons how millennial's are changing the LDS church. It was written by a very well-known Mormon blogger by the name of Jana Reese and as I mentioned last week, I'd like to repeat it again if you didn't catch our shows that we have a lot of respect for Jana Reese. We don't always agree with a lot of her conclusions, but I do see her as a thinker. I think she clearly articulates her views and some of the things that she has to say in this book Eric and I have found to be quite fascinating. And the reason why we feel it so important to do an extended series on this topic is because she brings out a lot of statistics based on a survey that she put out it was called the next Mormons survey. She refers to it throughout the book is simply an MS will in this survey she was asking various age groups of Latter Day Saints. What they thought about certain topics and she divides it into the typical age groups when it over these very quickly. She speaks of the greatest generation, which means you were born 1927 or before the silent generation, 1928 to 1944 baby boomer generation 1945 to 1964 Generation X or Gen X 1965 to 1979 in the millennial generation 1980 to 1998. Though I want to mention to you that sadly said this last week next Mormons with hyphens between all three words, if you want to look at that a little closer because that's a lot of information, were thrown out a lot of numbers, but you can luck here and see the long article that I wrote on the review of this book and the reason why as I said before, we find this to be very useful in our evangelism efforts is because she shows the great disparity sometimes between the older members of the LDS church and the younger members of the LDS church and quite honestly Eric as we stated last week. You and I and I think even Jana Reese was surprised by some of the statistics that came out of this survey, especially when you have only 67% of boomers that would be in our age category. Only 67% believe that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God you would think that that would have to be close to 100% if you're a faithful member of the LDS church, but even more shocking, she finds out that millennial's between 1980 and 1998, only 51% of millennial's filled out this survey believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God that we know that surveys have a tendency to have a whether or not 3% one way or the other whether that's accurate and of course the dates that she gives for each of these generation categories do tend to fluctuate depending on who you're talking to, or what you are reading.

I should probably say, but still if that's the case, how can we use this information to have an effective dialogue with Latter Day Saints. Knowing the chances are pretty good that may be the individual you're talking to might not be as loyal to the basic tenants of the Mormon faith. As you might think they are. And if that be the case, how can we use this information now. We ended last week. Basically giving some of the reasons why members stay in the church.

If so, few seem to believe the truth claims that I might say that basic truth claims of the LDS church. What keeps them in the church.

Why in the world if they don't believe Joseph Smith is a prophet of God with everyone to stay in a church that insist that he is a prophet of God.

I think those are great questions and we ended our series last week on some of the basic things that Jana Reese found out about that and she put in their temple experiences being one geography where the Latter Day Saints lives is a big factor and then what to do about doubting. Today we want to cover the area of those millennial's horror in the mission field, and she brings out a very interesting statistic that if you go on a mission as a latter-day St., and we know that a mission for the males is a two-year period in 2012 president Thomas Monson lowered the age of males from 19 to 18 in that same year they lowered the age of the female missionaries from 21 to 19, so that's three more years that young people can go into the mission field, which naturally spiked their numbers up into the 80,000 bracket. Now it is tended to go down back to around 65,000 which is what we expected, but that still more naturally than what they had before that announcement was made in 2012 want you introduce this topic of the missionary experience that you have in your article as you said Bill, when you compare the boomers and the Gen Xers with the millennial's the millennial's are more likely to have served missions in fact what Reese writes is she says that more than half of Mormon millennial's have served a full-time mission.

55%. So, more than half compared to the Gen Xers at 40% and boomers in the silent generation were only 28%, whereas half or more than half of the millennial's are serving about 1/4 of the boomers so that's a big difference. And then she says two thirds of LDS young men in the 1990s did not serve and perhaps because the age of as you mention the age for females was loaded 19 in 2012, close to half of millennial females served a mission compared to 13% for the boomers and only 28% of the female Gen Xers and she writes this before the age change. About one in six young missionaries was female today is closer to one and three. So I think we can very clearly state that the reason that the missionary numbers are greater in 2018 compared to 2011 is because you have many more females out there on the field. Jana Reese learns from the survey that the mission experience actually is a positive thing, though, we've certainly talked with many return missionaries known as RM, who had bad experiences and some even ultimately left the church. That statistic is relatively small compared to how many would say that their mission experience was very positive and actually solidified what they believed to be the restored gospel. What is she say about that. This is found on page 46 and she writes among respondents who had less than weekly church attendance in childhood only 19% who completed a full-time mission are no longer Mormon. In other words, eight in 10 people who had been less active as kids were still Mormons in adulthood. If they had served a full-time mission retention is even stronger among those who were weekly attenders during childhood. Only 9% of those who were active, growing up and served a full-time mission are no longer Mormon today compared to 29% who served a partial mission and nearly half 45% who didn't serve at all. So this very clearly states that serving a mission is more likely to keep that person in the church down the road than if they don't know when these young people go out on missions. Naturally they go from the confines of their high school and then they go out into what you hear it every graduation. The real world and naturally a lot of their truth claims are going to be challenged by people that they confront at the doorstep, but the missionaries apparently are being immersed in a world of pluralism and they are taking that pluralism, sometimes with them after they get off their mission. She has a few stories in her book, and I wanted you to read the one story about a young missionary named Jamie, who I think is telling us something that the LDS church should probably be worried about if what Jamie experienced is something that many other missionaries are taken away from their mission experience. What is she say about Jamie missionary page 43. She writes about how she served her mission and set it open her eyes to how privileged she was because she was born in a white middle-class Mormon family in Utah and so she went to the urban South and it put her in close personal contact with people whose lives have been very different. She had an encounter with a woman who was a Baha'i, it caused her to think that Mormonism might not be the only way that there were good people out there like this woman who was behind fact that happen for another woman, Lisa, who told a similar story is Jamie and this is what she said. She says we knocked on the door and a woman immediately started telling me about the Baha'i faith.

I was interested sort of recreationally, but standing there in her foyer.

That feeling of the spirit came on so strong. I think my companion felt it too and we walked out the door and down the sidewalk. I turned my companion and said did you feel that and she says yeah but I don't want to talk about it so I told her, even though we didn't understand it. If we felt it was God, then we needed to listen to it and then she writes Lisa felt the spirit as forcefully while listening to this woman explained her fate as she had often when defending her own religion other people who she had always believed needed the life altering message.

She offered them the experience was confusing to say the least. What if this other religion was also true. What if the same litmus test. Lisa had applied to the book of Mormon telling investigators that they would recognizes truth when they experience good feelings about it also applied to sacred texts from other religions. I see that that tends to prove we been saying for years how this subjective feeling is not a good way to determine truth anybody listening to that story who believes that evidence is important, would see the flaws in what this young missionary concluded from that experience and I think this is going to be a problem for the LDS church because we already know from this the survey that she gives you already have too few young millennial's 48% believing that the LDS church is the only true church and yet build or not hold that in their manual preach my gospel there told very clearly that they're supposed to be talking about a great apostasy. That's a great point because on page 36 of the preach my gospel manual which every Mormon missionaries supposed to familiarize himself or herself with says investigators must understand that a universal apostasy occurred following the death of Jesus Christ and his apostles. If there had been no apostasy. There would've been no need of a restoration so you take individuals like this who have pleasant encounters with peoples of other faith and because they think they think the Holy Ghost is witnessing to them or giving them a positive experience that somehow with their hearing may be true, this is only going to undermine that claim that the LDS church is the only true church on earth can you imagine in 50 years when a millennial ends up becoming an apostle and holding of the same kind of view that's going to cause all kinds of problems that goes back to what I said earlier, I would think that the leadership in the Mormon church would find this as a troubling concept that they need to deal with. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website at you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint is did you know that this year marks the 40th anniversary of Mormonism research ministry. All of us at MRM want to thank those of you who have faithfully supported our efforts to educate the body of Christ about the differences between Mormonism and Christianity as well as sharing God's grace with the Mormon people. If you would like to give a special anniversary gift to further our reference here at MRM. Simply click the donate button on our your support. As always, is greatly appreciated

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime